Putting blamelessness into practice

https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/blameless/

I wrote a post about being blameless before I left on my trip with my girlfriends. I had a great weekend.

Waterfall at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

The weather was gorgeous, had delicious food, desserts and drinks. We didn’t do a lot of interacting with the public, just each other. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and have no regrets.

on a bridge

When I got back home my mojo was off. One I was tired. Makes sense we definitely relaxed but we didn’t do a lot of sleeping. I felt all week like I was going through the motions. My devotional time was short, I didn’t feel like exercising, I didn’t drink my water, I barely made my bed. I was just off. I couldn’t put my finger on what the real problem was, it was definitely deeper than being tired. I wasn’t being blameless. I had basically had a weekend of binging all the things I don’t really do in excess anymore. Did I feel guilty? Not really. My recovery time was off. I felt like it took me almost a week to get back to my normal routine.

on a quick walk

How could I combat that? What do I do next time? I should pray more. I prayed the first night there but not so much the rest of the time. We are the only ones that can separates us from God, he doesn’t move We do. He knows what we’re going to do before we do it. So we might as well talk to him about it.

Update: I wrote the words above weeks ago. Right after I got back from my trip. I did feel a little guilty once I sat down and thought about it some more even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. I didn’t take my own advice though. I didn’t ask God to help me, I just avoided him. That’s not what we should do. God wasn’t upset with me. I was upset with myself. I was upset at an image that I THOUGHT I should be. Not who I actually had to be. I put all this pressure on myself.

God wants us to talk to him no matter what. Relationship and the state of our heart is more important than arbitrary rules.

Blameless

One of the first things you see in the post, How to live a blessed life, is about being blameless. What is blameless though? I always thought blameless was never making mistakes or being a perfect Christian. However that’s not true.

Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Psalms 15:2 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.15.2.NLT

Blameless means no willful sin. Not intentionally going out and acting reckless. Not knowing the right thing to do and deciding to do the wrong thing anyway. It’s about integrity. How you live when nobody is watching.

I would also say blameless is not just about not doing the wrong thing when we know the right thing to do. Its more about when you do the wrong thing you talk to God about it, ask for forgiveness and move on. Shaming yourself and feeling guilty is not being blameless.

Some examples of blameless people in the bible, Noah who got drunk and passed out in his yard. Our guy David from the Psalm we talked about earlier. He slept with a mans wife and then killed him to try and cover it up.

Those guys did bad things but their hearts were always after God. Their intentions were to please God, even if they made some mistakes.

Let’s all try to be a little blameless this week in not only our thoughts but our actions as well.

How to get out of your own way

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/2ti.1.7/17250

@marcinevin Twitter

When I look at this list I see a lot of things that I have done in the past or still continue to do. Do you see anything that you do?

Do you want to be better disciplined? Ask God to help. He gave self discipline to us as a gift when he gave us the Holy Spirit. Its inside of us waiting to be used, we just have to ask. Everything you need to be great is already within you.

I think all the things on this list boil down to Fear. Fear gets me every time. I’ll have an idea that I like but I will scared that it will fail, that people won’t like it, that its not good enough. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear. He tells us all the time to that he will be with us. If he is with us what do we have to be scared about? I’m sure you see all the time, do it afraid. My girl (in my head) Joyce Meyer, just wrote a book called Do it Afraid. I haven’t read it, but I’m sure its good. lol

That’s how you get out of your own way. Do it anyway. Stop trying to be in control of every moment. Stop thinking of the worst possible outcomes. Start thinking of all the things that could go right. Reward yourself along the way. Don’t stop just because it gets hard. If you get off track, get back on. Its never to late to start over, change your mind, switch it up. Be kind to yourself.

These are the things we have to do if we really want to tap into our greatness. We can’t do it on our own. You can’t stop years of wrong thinking by deciding to just start thinking more positively. We have to ask God to help us. To walk beside us. We need to tell him I’m ready. I’m ready for the challenge, I’m ready for the pain. I’m ready for whatever you want to give me, however you want to stretch me until I’m operating at my best capacity. Until I am doing what you called me to do.

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Prayer

Lord, You died for me to live life to the full. Your children shouldn’t have imposter syndrome we are daughters/sons of a king. Everything I need to be great you equipped me to do. Because you love me. You decided what you wanted me to do before I was born and then put together the entire thing while I was still in my mothers womb. Help me get out of my own way. Help me water the seeds of greatness you already planted inside me. Help me stay steadfast and rely on you, not on me. In Jesus name. Amen


Resources

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/tired-of-self-sabotage-how-to-get-out-of-your-own-way/ https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-ways-get-out-your-own-way-and-get-things-done.html https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-finesse/202006/how-recognize-and-defuse-self-sabotage

Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you so much! I have never been nominated for a blogger award. I feel so seen. I was nominated by clear-reveal.com

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and give a link to their site.
  2. Do a post to show your award.
  3. Give a summary of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice for any new bloggers.
  5. Select at least 15 other bloggers for this award.
  6. Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and give a link to your post.

My blog started because I was running from what God was telling me to do. I was dealing with infertility at the time and God was telling me to tell my story and I didn’t want to do. I was too nervous, too embarrassed, too ashamed to share my story. I was starting to feel miserable because I wasn’t doing what I was told to do that finally I just got on WordPress and started writing. I got good feedback, so I kept going.

I wanted to write to a blog to help people grow in their relationship with God. I didn’t see anything that I really wanted to read, so as the quote says, I wrote it myself. I got over my fear and just decided to do it.

Write What You Want To Read – Kit Dunsmore's Blog

Two pieces of advice for new bloggers.

  • Don’t worry about numbers. The people who are supposed to read what you write will come. Continue to put in the work
  • Be consistent and intentional. Your readers want to hear from you. Even if its only 2x a month, be consistent in that. Writers write, so be intentional about sitting down and just doing it.

15 Bloggers that I am nominating.

Home Page

https://becominghistapestry.com/

How To Increase Your Blog Traffic Without Using Social Media

https://desirayl.wordpress.com/

https://writing-reading-living.com/

https://inspirelifee.com/

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/103904259/posts/2957058860

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/84443719/posts/2886708228

https://kishasdailydevotional.wordpress.com/

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/102350914/posts/2959969898

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/91993602/posts/2856793914

60 days is plenty of time

I stole this from my friend, who stole it from Instagram.

My friend dropped this in the group chat the other day and it was great reminder. Even though we are at the end of the year doesn’t mean God can’t show out. Its funny in our human mind it feels like there isn’t enough time left to start something new or break a bad habit or let something go. Not true.

New living translation.

With that in mind, I decided to pull out the vision board I made at the beginning of the year.

my vision board.

Did you make a vision board this year? Do you still look it at? If not pull it out. Now is a good time to evaluate and see the progress you are making on your vision. I completely understand that this year probably looks nothing like you had originally planned it to be. That’s ok. This is a great time to make adjustments if you need to.

One thing I plan on doing with my vision board before the year is over, is finding scriptures to match the pictures and phrases I cut out. I believe it helps to have a biblical backing that way you know what you want is confirmed in the word.

I also need to tweak some things I put on there. I was in a different headspace back in January/February then now. This is ok. We are not people who are meant to be static, change is fluid. We aren’t locked in to anything.

I have something easier for you if you don’t feel like making a vision board. I wrote out a prayer and then I found a scripture to match my prayer. Having that scripture to go along with my prayer helps me when I feel like what I am praying for isn’t happening or its moving slow. Having the scripture as the foundation lets me know that what I am asking for is in God’s will because it is in his word. For the word of God will not fail. Luke 1:37


Prayer

We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. Colossians 1:9-12 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/col.1.12.NLT

God please give me wisdom to be a good wife, mom and leader. Help me instead of taking on my friends problems pray for them more. Help me count my blessings and be thankful for everything I have. Help me not compare my life to anyone else’s. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

September wrap

I did not meet my all blogging goals for September but that’s ok. I am going to crank it up in October.

Here are the most read posts for September, a few you may have already seen but there are also some oldie but goodies.

My second most popular readers are again from China! Hello China!

Being a good partner

How to live a blessed life

Faith vs being realistic

Tithing answering a few questions

Unlearning

How to wait well

Do you feel like God left you on read

*It has taken me 4 days to write this post and 4 hours today. God has something big in store for me because this should not have been this hard. If you are trying to do something and things keep getting in your way. do it anyway. I am going to keep pushing and keep getting better, no matter what!

Unlearning

One thing I’ve picked up during this odd year of 2020 is unlearning.

What have you had to unlearn? For me it’s been a lot. I used some of these thought processes for protection to make sure I wouldn’t get hurt. Im learning to be more vulnerable, to trust more, and I realize I don’t need to think this way anymore.

1. Everything is not what it seems. Sometimes our perceptions are wrong. We are making decisions based on limited knowledge, our bias, our feelings. All those things could potentially not be right. Keeping this in the back of my mind has helped me look at things from all angles before making a decision.

2. Everything is not black or white or even gray. I was very much a person who thought things were one way or not. No shade but, it is what it is. In the this world of COVID-19 I’ve learned things are not always one way or another. There could be a third option that I never even considered.

Voting Michelle Obama GIF by Joe Biden
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3. Everyone doesn’t have to move at the same pace. I used to think I was behind everybody in spiritual knowledge, in having kids, fancy careers. However I have to remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. God put me in this place. It’s not a race. I’m not competing with anyone, not even myself. There are no timelines or schedules because God’s timing is always perfect.

4. What works for you, may not work for me. This is another small thing but changing my thinking has been huge. The first thing that made me think of this is the natural hair movement. You can watch tons of tutorials and it still not turn out right. Follow someone’s regimen to the letter and still not get the changes you were expecting. What worked for them may not work for me. That can be applied to just about anything in life.

5. People aren’t judging me. People aren’t looking at me. Or even thinking about me. Folks are more concerned about themselves than they are with what I’m doing, wearing etc. Letting this go allows me to live more free.

6. Its never too late. For anything. Ever. The older you get the more people start to tell you your too old for this or that. Not true. It’s never too late. If your good, it’s going to come through in what you do. You want to make a career switch? Do it! You want to move out of state? Do it! Nothing is holding you back but you.

These lessons have been huge. They may seem like simple changes but they represent gigantic changes in mindset. As we get to the last quarter of the year think about how you might need to change your mindset. Its never too late.

All I do is win

I use a lot of DJ Khaled gifs in my writing. I don’t know why it just seems appropriate lol

I don’t want people to be mistaken and think that I’m bragging on myself. I’m not. I wouldn’t have anything, I wouldn’t feel this good if it wasn’t for God.

stephen colbert win GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
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If you have read this blog long enough then you know it wasn’t always like this. I had many years when I suffered for the most part in silence. I’m not saying my life is all sunshine and rainbows because it’s not. The difference is my perspective changed. My perspective changed because I decided to try God’s way instead of my way or the world’s way. My way wasn’t doing anything for me. I felt even worse because now I added guilt om top of all the other things I felt.

People ask what’s the secret. How can they feel like this too? I go to church, I read and study my Bible on my own, I go to Bible study in a group, I cut back on my secular tv shows and music. I do all those things because I need God all the time in all the ways I could get him.

That’s not sexy or interesting though. Its not fun or fast. It can be tedious at times.

C'mon, Inner Peace... I don't have all day!
awwwmemes.com

I didn’t always do that. I thought once I had my baby I would be cool, my suffering is over, God answered my prayers. That happy feeling didn’t last long.

Once I went back to work my happy bubble burst and I had to figure out how to get it back. That’s why I worry so much about maintaining the momentum. I’ve been on the other side of this feeling and I don’t want to go back.

You Must Be Crazy Season 4 GIF by CBS All Access
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I continue to work on finding a balance on being in the world and my relationship with God. Spending more time with him definitely helps with that. Age has helped with that, the pandemic has helped with that too. I am not telling you it will be easy, or fast, but it will be worth it.

Being a good partner

I was with my girls last weekend and of course we start talking about our men. Why don’t they listen, why are they so slow, why don’t they do things the way we do? These are great questions. If you think I have the answers here, think again!

Happy African American GIF by BET
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I’m no marriage expert but I have been married almost 10 years. Its wild. When we first got married I couldn’t imagine what 10 years married even looked like. My pastor talks all the time about what makes a good partner and it may surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

He says you shouldn’t tell the other person what to do, you should pray for them.

Lionel Ritchie What GIF

That doesn’t seem super helpful. Prayer feels passive. I want action.

Hey You Movie GIF by Bad Boys For Life
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I want to ask him to take out the trash and he just gets up and does it, no questions asked, no comments, immediately, not at the commercial, not after this play, NOW. That’s not a partner though that’s a child. I didn’t get married to have another child.

My husband has expressed to me on more than one occasion that he doesn’t always like the way I talk to him. He also told me he doesn’t say anything about it, he has just gotten used to it. I didn’t like that at all. I need to work on my tone, not him get used to it. I came across this verse in Proverbs that spoke exactly to what he was saying to me.

When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Proverbs 31:26 NLT

Gives instructions with kindness. Do I do that? Not every time. Do you do that? I was listening to my girlfriends talk to their partners over the weekend and I didn’t hear a lot of kindness. According to Dictionary.com kindness means being generous, compassionate and friendly. I don’t yell or nag at my husband but can I be short, snappy, or rude? Yes I can.

I don’t much feel like giving instructions with kindness when I’ve had to give them more than once. I don’t feel like giving instructions with kindness when I feel like you shouldn’t need instructions in the first place. The bible doesn’t say that though. We are to give instructions with kindness every time.

If you read Proverbs you will notice there are wayyyy more things about wives than husband’s. I’m going to get more into that next week. I used to have some pretty negative thoughts about the Proverbs 31 woman. Not so much anymore, but we’ll talk about it.

The key thing about being a good partner is remembering you can’t change anyone but yourself. That’s why my pastor tells us to pray instead of nag. You will change how you react to whatever your partner is doing, which is the bigger issue anyway. Right? Right.


Prayer

Lord help me give instructions with kindness. Help me have grace and patience instead of anger and resentment when my husband doesn’t do what I ask him to do in way or speed that I would do it. Help me be thankful that I have a partner that is willing to help me and be an active parent. Remind me of the love that I have for him and how awesome he is. In Jesus name, I pray amen.

Here is a sermon my pastor preached on about the secrets of lasting love.

Tithing: Answering a few questions

Its Friday! Did you get paid today?

Pay Day Money GIF
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If so are you going to tithe any of it? Will you give any of it to charity? This makes me think of a conversation that I had with a friend of mine. She is getting close to making six figures so she asked me:

Do we really have to tithe 10% or is that just something made up at church?

This is a great question! I knew a little bit about this subject,but not a ton mainly from my pastor so I immediately started doing some research. The scripture that always comes to mind is this one from Malachi.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

My pastor always uses this one but it makes sense, its the only scripture I know that God says to test me on this. Pouring out blessings?! Yes please!

make it rain another round GIF
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Why do we tithe?

Tithing is showing God we trust him with our money and finances. There are lots of scriptures to back this up. People always start making distinctions between Old Testament and New Testament when we start talking about tithing. From my research it doesn’t look like the New Testament gets into amounts as much as the Old Testament. It still talks about giving though.

Giving encourages a grateful and generous spirit and can help steer us away from being greedy or loving money too much.”-Dave Ramsey

Do we really have to give 10% or is that made up?

Did you know that tithe literally means 10th in Hebrew. I never knew that.

Does God care how much we tithe?

In reading the New Testament, it doesn’t seem like God cares how much you give. I think he cares more about your attitude while you are giving. God doesn’t technically need your money. Its already his anyway, he just wants to see you give back to him what was his in the first place. Don’t hold onto your money like Dave Chappelle in this gif.

Hustling Dave Chappelle GIF
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You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:7‭-‬8 NLT

Does it have to be 10% to the church or can I give to charity?

The internet seems to be split on this. Some sources said it should be the church because the “storehouse” that is referenced in Malachi is the church, while others say giving is giving, it doesn’t matter where you give it. Dave Ramsey says if you aren’t giving to the church its not tithing, but I can’t find enough research to support either one of those views.

Final thoughts:

I would say give to the church first that way you can see where your money is going.

Give what you can and feel comfortable with. God is always happy about small beginnings. The longer you give the more you are going to eventually want to do anyway


Resources

https://www.openbible.info/topics/giving_10_percent

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/daves-advice-on-tithing-and-giving